Summer 2015 Retreats

Summer 2015 Retreats

Weeklong retreats offer fresh insights in a gentle, meditative atmosphere. Both residential and non-residential retreats include vegetarian meals.  A private tour of retreat facilities is available by appointment.  See our photo albums on Facebook for a virtual tour.

Click on the retreat title or scroll down for full descriptions of each of the retreats. Click here for a typical retreat schedule.

New retreats are offered all year long, call or email us for retreat dates and details. Private retreats are also welcome.


June 8-13: Inner Peace through Meditation (MED506)

June 15-20: Expanding Body Knowledge (KNR506)

June 22-27: Kum Nye: Breath, Energy, Feeling (KNR502)

June 29-July 3: Transforming Negative Emotions (NPS501)

July 10-12: Generating Happiness from Within (KNR414)

July 13-18: Tibetan Yoga to Open the Senses to Feeling (KNR504)

July 20-August 1: Bringing Suffering and Happiness onto the Path of Enlightenment (MED504): A Mind-Training (Lojong) Retreat

August 10-15: Skillful Means: Productive Thought (SKM501)

August 17-22: Silent Retreat (MED501)

 

 

Descriptions of the 2015 Summer Retreats


June 8-13: Inner Peace through Meditation (MED506)

The deep relaxation and openness of meditation offer a different perspective on our thoughts and perceptions… A new mind arises, bearing a sense of lightness and calm that ripples throughout all our activities like laughter. Tarthang Tulku, Hidden Mind of Freedom.

Stillness, openness, and balance—all of these can arise from meditation. This retreat presents mantra, visualization, and sitting practices that quiet the mind, suffusing experience with peaceful ease. All our thoughts and feelings are integrated into the calm balance of meditation: our total being becomes meditation, an unfolding path of discovery and insight.

Cost: $470 (nonresidential, meals included); $700 (residential, six night’s room and board). Retreat begins Monday, 10 AM and concludes Saturday, 4:45 PM. Instructors: Olivia Hurd and the meditation faculty. Meditators at all levels are invited to join this retreat.

 

 

June 15-20: Expanding Body Knowledge (KNR506)

It is possible to allow a greater measure of liveliness, clarity, and intimacy with our surroundings to replace the isolated appearances of ‘body’, ‘mind’, and ‘world’. Tarthang Tulku, Time, Space, and Knowledge.


The goal of this retreat is to bring a vital, but relaxed awareness to our physical being. Tibetan Yoga practices will focus on expanding spacious relaxation. Incisive awareness practices from the Time, Space, and Knowledge vision will ‘thaw out’ the limiting views and images of our body that constrict liveliness and intimacy.

Cost: $470 (nonresidential, meals included); $700 (residential, six night’s room and board). Retreat begins Monday, 10 AM and concludes Saturday, 4:45 PM. Instructors: Santosh Philip, Ken McKeon, and the Kum Nye faculty. Suitable for all levels of students.

 

June 22-27: Kum Nye: Breath, Energy, Feeling (KNR502)

In this Tibetan Yoga retreat, breathing and movement exercises stimulate and direct the energy of body and mind; visualization practices awaken and sustain inner vitality; and meditation practices foster serenity. These practices are simple and yet profound, gentle and yet deeply transformative.

Cost: $470 (nonresidential, meals included); $700 (residential, six night’s room and board). Retreat begins Monday, 10 AM and concludes Saturday, 4:45 PM. Instructors: Santosh Philip, Donna Morton, and Jack van der Meulen. Suitable for all levels of students.

 

June 29-July 3: Transforming Negative Emotions (NPS501)

Emotions influence much of our lives. Yet, we may feel that we have little control over negative emotions and little understanding of how and why they arise. Negative thoughts and emotions just seem to pop up, sometimes very unexpectedly, creating confusion and causing us to suffer.

This retreat will challenge the hold that negative emotions have over us through potent meditations that pacify emotions without suppressing them. First, we balance and clear the mind; then we develop insight into how emotions take hold; and then we apply techniques that transform the negative aspect of emotional energy.

Cost: $392 (nonresidential, meals included); $584 (residential, four nights’ room and board). Retreat begins Monday, 10 AM and concludes Friday, 3 PM. Primary Instructor: Olivia Hurd. Prerequisite: some experience with meditation.

 

July 10-12: Generating Happiness from Within (KNR414)

Tibetan Yoga practices channel positive energy into body and mind as they release tension. This three-day retreat combines movement, self-massage, and breathing practices that generate joyful feelings, reorienting us toward happiness. We discover that we hold the key to satisfaction and inner peace, and we learn to appreciate the qualities that have placed the key in our hands and entitle us to use it.

Cost: $235 (nonresidential, meals included); $350 (residential, two nights’ room and board). Retreat begins Friday, 10 AM and concludes Sunday, 3 PM. Instructor: Santosh Philip. Suitable for all levels of students.

 

July 13-18: Tibetan Yoga to Open the Senses to Feeling (KNR504)

Our bodies are expressions of the creativity and vitality that course through all forms of life. They are endowed with senses that allow us to experience ecstatic beauty and bliss and make it available to others who have not yet seen that this is possible. Tarthang Tulku, Joy of Being.

Tibetan Yoga (Kum Nye) movement, breath, and awareness exercises that open the senses to deep feeling and sensitivity form the heart of this retreat. Designed to challenge students at all levels of Tibetan Yoga or meditation practice, the retreat will include individual counseling and follow-up.

Cost: $470 (nonresidential, meals included); $700 (residential, six night’s room and board). Instructors: Santosh Philip, Donna Morton, and Jack van der Meulen. Suitable for all levels of students, but prepare to be challenged.


July 20-August 1: Bringing Suffering and Happiness onto the Path of Enlightenment (MED504) A Mind-Training (Lojong) Retreat


Perceiving suffering as a support for the path to enlightenment requires that we cultivate joy when suffering arises. In order to apply this teaching to our lives we must develop a spiritual practice that accords with the capability of our mind. Jigme Tenpay Nyima, Pith Advice on Bringing Happiness and Suffering onto the Path of Enlightenment.


Mind-training is central to the Buddha’s path. Its teachings point out that mind not only decides what we do, but also profoundly shapes how the world appears. In short, ‘what’ we know depends on ‘how’ we know it. This radical premise frees us from the notion of a solid ‘self’ acting within a static ‘world’, both of which are being constantly eroded by the passage of time. ‘We’ and ‘world’ loosen-up, becoming a vibrant, ever-changing dynamic that leads to the truth of being. We discover that what seemed rock-solid (and painful in its collisions with other solid things) is, in fact inherently open and naturally blissful. read more

Cost per week: $470 (nonresidential, meals included) and $700 (residential). Primary Instructor: Sylvia Gretchen, co-dean of the Nyingma Institute, assisted by the Buddhist Studies faculty. Students may attend just the first week of retreat with the instructor’s consent.

Prerequisites: Since the retreat will blend cognitive and non-cognitive learning, participants should have at least three years of meditation experience. They should also be familiar with Buddhist approaches to human development or otherwise prepared to relinquish ordinary mental patterns without regret. The retreat will include devotional practices designed to strengthen connections with the mind-training lineage. Several translations of the text are available and students will be provided with copies upon enrollment.

 

August 10-15: Skillful Means: Productive Thought (SKM501)


The best safeguard for good decision-making is to develop our knowledge as fully as possible. We can do this by continually working to awaken awareness: cultivating sensitivity to our situation, projecting forward in time, and allowing for the unexpected. Tarthang Tulku, Mastering Successful Work.


Knowledge is the heart of this experiential retreat. Our work and our lives demand that we awaken creative intelligence that resonates with our own uniqueness, thrives in our communications with others and responds dynamically to the world around us. During this retreat, discussion and exercises establish us in more reliable and rewarding connections with others, and also forge a path of personal growth that leads directly to knowledgeability. We learn how to meld sensory experience into our thought process and think more efficiently. We discover that communication itself can function as thought, and that knowledge can best be elicited through cooperative caring.

Cost: $470 (nonresidential, meals included); $700 (residential, six night’s room and board). Retreat begins Monday, 10 AM and concludes Saturday, 4:45 PM. Instructor: Barr Rosenberg and Santosh Philip. There is no prerequisite for this retreat aside from a willingness to engage in experiential inquiry.

 

August 17-22: Silent Retreat (MED501)

This retreat’s practices are done in silence with a minimum amount of in-class discussion and students will be expected to maintain silence throughout the day. Each student will receive personal instructions for meditation and study attuned to their circumstances and purposes. The retreat is designed to allow participants to deepen their meditation practice in the supportive and protective setting of the Nyingma Institute.

Cost: $470 (nonresidential, meals included); $700 (residential, six night’s room and board). Retreat begins Monday, 10 AM and concludes Saturday, 4:45 PM. Instructors: Olivia Hurd and the meditation faculty. Students at all levels are invited to join this retreat.

 

About our retreat accommodations: Retreat participants stay at the Nyingma Institute in private or shared rooms. Bathrooms are shared. Participants may arrange to stay additional nights by prior arrangement for $45 per night on a space-available basis. We recommend that guests traveling from a distance arrive a day in advance of the retreat start.

 

 

Full description of the MED504 retreat

July 20-August 1: Bringing Suffering and Happiness onto the Path of Enlightenment (MED504) A Mind-Training (Lojong) Retreat


Perceiving suffering as a support for the path to enlightenment requires that we cultivate joy when suffering arises. In order to apply this teaching to our lives we must develop a spiritual practice that accords with the capability of our mind. Jigme Tenpay Nyima, Pith Advice on Bringing Happiness and Suffering onto the Path of Enlightenment.


Mind-training is central to the Buddha’s path. Its teachings point out that mind not only decides what we do, but also profoundly shapes how the world appears. In short, ‘what’ we know depends on ‘how’ we know it. This radical premise frees us from the notion of a solid ‘self’ acting within a static ‘world’, both of which are being constantly eroded by the passage of time. ‘We’ and ‘world’ loosen-up, becoming a vibrant, ever-changing dynamic that leads to the truth of being. We discover that what seemed rock-solid (and painful in its collisions with other solid things) is, in fact inherently open and naturally blissful. read more

The lineage of mind-training has been transmitted for more than a millennium by Tibetan masters who have demonstrated how to put these teachings into action. This two-week retreat is based on a short and direct text on mind-training by one of these masters, Jigme Tenpay Nyima (1865-1926). A disciple of the greatest teachers of his time, including Paltrul Rinpoche, Khentse Wangpo, and Lama Mipham, he was also a teacher of Khentse Chokyi Lodro, the root guru of the Nyingma Institute’s founder, Tarthang Tulku. His teachings cut through the basis of samsara itself—our need to escape from what we call ‘suffering’ and run toward what we call ‘happiness’. In fewer than twenty pages he describes how suffering arises (“from the mind’s mistaken way of gaining experience”) and points out how to bring both suffering and happiness onto the path to enlightenment. He presents these teachings from both relative and ultimate standpoints.

The text gives direct advice on how to cleanse mind of habitual clinging. Our responses to good and bad fortune shift as we place them in the compassionate care of Dharma training. Practical in orientation, the retreat will intersperse lecture and a line-by-line reading of the text with intervals of intense meditative practice.

A note from the primary instructor: “Having studied and benefitted from these teachings over many years, I would like to share them with others who might also find their clear exposition and direct approach to mind-training helpful. Life is short and not always easy; we need ways to transform all our experience into fuel for Dharma practice so that self-delusion can be burned away. A good companion on the spiritual path, the text instructs us on how to break free of bondage to suffering and happiness, unmasking the natural clarity and compassionate love now hidden within mind.”

Cost per week: $470 (nonresidential, meals included) and $700 (residential). Primary Instructor: Sylvia Gretchen, co-dean of the Nyingma Institute, assisted by the Buddhist Studies faculty. Students may attend just the first week of retreat with the instructor’s consent.

Prerequisites: Since the retreat will blend cognitive and non-cognitive learning, participants should have at least three years of meditation experience. They should also be familiar with Buddhist approaches to human development or otherwise prepared to relinquish ordinary mental patterns without regret. The retreat will include devotional practices designed to strengthen connections with the mind-training lineage. Several translations of the text are available and students will be provided with copies upon enrollment.

 

To register or for more information, call us at (510) 809-1000 or email us at nyingma-institute@nyingma.org.

 

Typical Retreat Schedule
(Retreat schedules may vary, or be modified to accommodate personal needs.)

7 AM Morning meditation

8 AM Breakfast and breakfast clean up

9:30 AM Instruction session

10:30 AM Tea Break

11 AM Instruction session

12:30 PM Vegetarian Lunch

2 - 3:30 PM Work Practice and individual practice/study.

5:30 PM Vegetarian Dinner

6:15 PM Instruction session

 

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